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Comments: 95 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

Born-Total84219 karma

  1. When did you realise that your small business in lego parts could become a full-time business? And what advice would you share with others to support them in their journey? Thanks

gerruta19 karma

The moment when I had to hire someone else to give me a hand, because I could not keep up with the work. Specially studying, having a girlfriend, and trying to sleep at the same time. :-)

For the second question, do you mean as journey in business, or LEGO?

extra_specticles12 karma

Congrats on the successful business. I've two questions

  1. When did Lego change from lots of bricks that you could make anything your imagination could dream of, to just being basically a sets of build one thing like a jigsaw?

  2. How much do you hate when Americans incorrectly call it LEGOS?

gerruta13 karma

Thank you!

I am not sure it has ever transitioned to that. Sure, sets have been more focused, and with the increase in special/rare parts, which have less uses, perhaps you need a higher quantity of parts to be able to build cool stuff. But there are still creative boxes which just include bricks, and you can destroy whatever you build and rebuild it as something else!

I remember the most fun I had as a kid was with a little 'briefcase' I had full of LEGO. I spent hours building cars, cities, whatever!

And for the second question - LOL! I personally do not mind. I like to think that languages evolve and if people call it that... well it's for a reason. However, I do get the point (from a legal/trademark/whatever perspective) why LEGO does not want people calling it LEGOS. It becomes generic and they may lose the trademark!

rockossack2 karma

shout out for the LEGO briefcase, what an amazing thing that was

gerruta2 karma

100% - I think it's the LEGO 'thing' which I had most fun with!

kgunnar7 karma

How much do hate when Americans incorrectly call it LEGOS?

FWIW “LEGO” is not a plural of Lego pieces, it is technically “LEGO Bricks” according to the company itself, so unless you are saying that every time, you are also wrong. I don’t know why people care so much if others call them “Legos” anyway.

matej86-1 karma

I don’t know why people care so much if others call them “Legos” anyway.

Because it would be like calling the plural of "Sheep" as "Sheep's" but doing it unironically. It's objectively incorrect.

KngNothing2 karma

Except it's not and he just explained why.

It'd be more akin to people calling Brillo Pads - "Brillo's".

If you prefer to call them "Brillo" when they're in a bunch. That's on you.

And both are the wrong way to say the plural name.

You can't omit the defining word or try to use examples of things that are definitively one word to try and prove your point.

So like the guy said - unless you are saying "Lego bricks" every time and not "lego" then you're also wrong.

matej861 karma

Maybe I used a bad example but the point being made is that Legos is objectively wrong and confirmed by the company itself.

https://twitter.com/LEGO_Group/status/842115345280294912?s=20

gerruta1 karma

They have a very real reason to want this, due to patent/trademark law (not a lawyer, don't know exact terms). If a brand word becomes what people call that item, without meaning the brand (like kleenex), the word then stops being able to be trademarked. LEGO doesn't want the same thing happening to LEGO bricks vs clones.

Mokiflip11 karma

No offense meant but how do you stay in business with such high prices? Are collectors and LEGO fans willing to pay that much ? Do you focus on low volume & high margins? Genuinely curious, I know nothing about this market.

PS: saludos desde Barcelona!

gerruta10 karma

First of all, buenos días! :-)

No offense at all! MOCs can get expensive! We provide a service with which we try to give complete-ready to build kits to users. Some people have less time to go through the process of buying all of the individual parts themselves, and dealing with multiple sellers.

Plus, most of the time, you have to order from a lot of different stores and stack shipping charges on top! It can get expensive. We also give back 10% of the total sale price to the designers of the sets. Lots of costs, but indeed higher-end service. The parts also come classified and separated for easier building, and we solve any problem you might have with anything!

It's just a different service than just selling parts, and indeed, has to pay a few 'mouths'. :-D

Mokiflip2 karma

That's really cool! Thanks for sharing! It makes perfect sense!

So nice to see small niche businesses being successful! Mucha suerte con todo!

gerruta2 karma

gracias!!!

CoffeeNutLatte4 karma

OP has already answered, but to give some more info - it just depends on how much you like Lego, or the design. I saw someone post a Lego design for the Mako from Mass Effect years ago, and I actually ended up buying all the individual bits and pieces for it to build it. Overall I think I ended up spending around £100 for (I think) a couple of hundred parts, plus shipping from different stores. The wheels alone were ~£5.50 each I think, so there's definitely a market for expensive parts!

gerruta1 karma

This is correct! As well as a market for off-brand, cheaper parts. Both ends work!

RunnaLittle9 karma

Is it possible to get two little 1x1 flats that are stacked on top of each other separated again?

gerruta11 karma

Yes! It can be hard to do without damaging them though. Have you tried with a sharp cutter? Dig on the midle. That's how we do it.

aard_fi11 karma

2x2 and 2x1 are the slightly tricky ones - 1x1 you can just twist for getting a good grip.

gerruta4 karma

Absolutely true, the method applies for those. 1 x 1 can indeed be easily twisted... or maybe they are glued and you forgot!

aard_fi9 karma

or maybe they are glued

I'm not that kind of monster.

gerruta1 karma

Haha - well, to each their own! :-)

redhandfilms6 karma

What is your favorite LEGO piece?

gerruta17 karma

Not sure about useful, but I have this random octopus legs on my desk, which has a strange, but soothing texture and is flexible. It's great for antistress! And you can put parts on it! :-D

https://imgur.com/a/zH2csVH

printandpolish5 karma

did you have to move into a larger space? Has how you keep track of inventory changed over time?

gerruta5 karma

Thankfully not. I had a large garage, so I used a small part of it at the beginning. Now, we've almost had it fully occupied, and I actually had to rent the neighbours garage.... but to park my own car!

We have an inventory management program for the second. Could you imagine tracking over 15,000 different parts?

DoppelFrog5 karma

Have you counted them all?

gerruta8 karma

I did everything myself up to about 200,000 parts. Since then, we've had some help up to over a million like we are now. But yes, between all of us, we've had to count them all!

I have lost track of how many parts we move a day (as in out/in)!

NUKLEARAXIS5 karma

I miss technic sets from the 90s.

I recently put together the six or so sets with my kids I still have and nothing beats them.

Cheap but fun builds a young child can do that push them technically as well.

Technic today is just these ultra expensive replica bullshit.

Do you have anything more along the lines of those early sets?

gerruta2 karma

We always have nostalgia for past times. It's inevitable! However, I think some of the newer sets are very cool! You can't deny how far LEGO has come.

My first LEGO set is from 2006, so I do not have that 90's nostalgia factor. Set 7903, rescue helicopter!

carsonnwells3 karma

LEGO refuses to design and manufacture LEGO kits that are replicas of military combat aircraft.

Can your company create a LEGO C-17 Globemaster 3 ?

It is a cargo jet of the U.S. Air Force.

gerruta3 karma

We do have a few kits of military airplanes, which in my opinion are very cool. They are all by the same designer, you can see them here - it's the 4 larger sets.

I can definitely understand why LEGO does not want to do military-style sets though!

carsonnwells2 karma

I understand LEGO's reason for not replicating combat aircraft.

But, there are plenty of cargo and utility aircraft and rotorcraft that are not weapons grade platforms.

gerruta2 karma

Indeed. Have you seen what happened with the Osprey recently?

carsonnwells3 karma

No, something bad ?

gerruta2 karma

There was a cancelled LEGO set, they wanted to bring out the BELL-BOEING V-22, but they pulled out at the last second.

dustoff872 karma

When are you adding a Futurama set? Lol. Planet express building or ship, you'll have customers queued up for miles!

gerruta2 karma

Hah! We need to get in contact with a designer who has Futurama sets, that would be cool.

There are some on Rebrickable, some looking good! Perhaps we need to get in touch!

dustoff872 karma

I saw a big set a while back that was the whole building in pretty large scale. I'm no designer myself, but if you ever put together a set, I'll be your first customer!

gerruta1 karma

Haha - I'll be on the lookout!

nzbule2 karma

What methods do you use to obtain bricks?

gerruta4 karma

We part out new sets, purchase from other reputable sellers, purchase directly from LEGO... many ways! Also, used lots can be quite 'generous'.

CT_72 karma

Where did you get the capital to start? At what point did you become profitable? Tks

gerruta2 karma

Always my own money. I started out working summers in the US, and after I saw that this could be profitable, I put my own money into it. I've tried to reinvest back every penny I could, up to now!

Alvarope982 karma

Have you ever found a factory mistake in any set?

gerruta3 karma

Hey! Indeed, not many as LEGO has great quality controls, but recently, for example, we found a 'white' part in a shade of pink that was quite cool! Unlike any other LEGO color, it was like a very light flesh. It's hard to see in the picture, but here it is!

https://imgur.com/a/XNK8Ti4

Alvarope983 karma

Cool! The million dollar piece haha

gerruta1 karma

I wish, wanna find me a buyer? :-P

coustellier2 karma

What are the various ways you acquire pieces for your store? How do you keep enough "Star Wars Grey" in stock for that crowd?

gerruta1 karma

There are a few colors that are indeed always in demand. White, black, greys, tan... you nailed it with the SW crowd!

There is also always the 'modular crowd', 'nature crowd', 'TAN FANATICS' - LOL!

Copying from another reply: We part out new sets, purchase from other reputable sellers, purchase directly from LEGO... many ways! Also, used lots can be quite 'generous'.

supercharged07092 karma

[deleted]

gerruta1 karma

Enough to pay my employees and keep the lights on!

therealBlackbonsai1 karma

How many times did LEGO try to sue you, if not how afraid are you they gonna do it?

gerruta1 karma

This is a very good question. Not so far, and hopefully never. I hope to not be breaking any of their terms, and we try to be very respectful. We only use original LEGO, and many of our parts come from them directly, so we have a working relationship. I also don't think that we are taking any market from them. It's a completely different market, supporting designers who in turn make people purchase more LEGO!

aard_fi1 karma

I assume you're still selling bricks individually? I can't find that on your site - if so, you might want to add a bricklink/brickowl link.

It's funny timing - I just got back from my parents a few days ago with all my old lego sets (70s to early 90s), and am currently trying to identify the sets as well as ordering missing or broken parts. I just did the first brickowl order yesterday - and you seem to have a large enough inventory worth browsing..

gerruta1 karma

Yes! We do have a store in BL/BO! It is brick.brickowl.com. However, we do not have many old/rare parts in those stores, but you might find something you need. I did not want to add it to the post so as to not make it SPAM. :-)

DiracSeaMandelstam1 karma

When did you realize you were an actual Lego man?

gerruta2 karma

Haha! Not one, but three! https://imgur.com/a/xQKqUqj

onlysmokereg1 karma

What is the correct name for the island dwelling Lego people? My friend and I had them around 1996 and we would refer to them as "ooga booga people" but I doubt that was the correct name for that set.

gerruta3 karma

LOL at your name!

I am not sure which set exactly you had. Perhaps some like these? https://img.bricklink.com/ItemImage/IN/0/6278-1.png

It's a set from '94, they were called just... islanders!

onlysmokereg3 karma

Yeah that’s the one, is it still possible to get older sets like those or are they insanely expensive collectors items now?

gerruta2 karma

It really depends on the set, but they are almost always going to be more expensive, if you want them in mint condition. Used ones can be easier to get. I recommend you to go to local 'flea markets' or second hand stores/apps.

JDTexas841 karma

Where do you land in the argument for glueing the bricks versus not glueing the bricks?

gerruta3 karma

I personally do not like it, since I want the bricks to be reusable, and have many life cycles. When you glue them, it's like, well, guess you can't be anything else now!

Of course, when it's needed, no problem at all!

evileyeball1 karma

Do you have a favorite series? Mine is M-Tron and I just need to find a place to get adault me a reasonably priced Mega Core Magnetizer Choldhood me never had.

gerruta1 karma

Amazing! Those older sets can indeed get very rare and expensive, specially the space-related ones. I had a lot of fun with Exo Force sets, as well as Knights Kingdom sets - I guess you can figure out my age from that!

RitroxcB1 karma

How many MOCs are there in your web? And which is the most sold??

gerruta1 karma

Well, I think we have over 500 MOCs by different designers for sale currently. There are many models, and they need to be custom made each time they are ordered. It's a lot to go through!

I think the most sold by numbers would be the Tensegrity, the nice little sculpture that defies gravity!

readball1 karma

which one is you best selling model?

gerruta1 karma

By number of times sold, it has to be the Tensegrity!! That thing is so cool, I have one on my desk.

By revenue, I am not sure. Perhaps the Epic Hogwarts Extension, or the Ferrari F12? When you get to the more expensive sets, they are nuts!

shannonator960 karma

Did you ever get a response from Kevin O'Leary about those NFTs?

gerruta1 karma

Not sure if I understand this question!

gerruta1 karma

LOL! Never heard of this.

IAmAModBot-1 karma

[removed]

gerruta2 karma

Added some more proof to the post, you can also check on the footer of our website, where I said Hi to reddit, adding my username! :-)